Scary movies. Again.
There’s nothing like a classic, holiday movie. You know, the kind with dark magic, wart-covered witches, masked stalkers and serial killers.
Two cult classics came out with remakes this Halloween. Disney came out with Hocus Pocus 2, 29 years after the original. And the beloved Halloween series came out with its thirteenth film, Halloween Ends. The massive success of both movies is yet another testament of the power of nostalgia. Today’s audience values good memories that remind them of the good ol’ days. Even if the good ol’ days were the Sanderson sisters. And Michael Myers.
First of all, Hocus Pocus. Why the cult following? I rewatched the movie recently with my kids and to be quite honest, I’m struggling to see the allure. SJP has seen better days. But come to find out, like most favorites, the film wasn’t a total sensation upon release. In fact, it was a total flop, bringing in low earnings opening weekend, and underwhelming its audience. I mean, it was a Halloween movie released in June. What’d they expect? But with the passing of time, nostalgia grew, and the incessant reruns started to wear everyone down. For one reason or another, Hocus Pocus became a cult classic.
Fast forward 29 years, and the movie’s sequel proved a huge success. Hocus Pocus 2 became the #1 film premiere on Disney+. The movie set a record for streaming minutes, drawing more than 2.7 billion minutes of viewing from September 26 to October 2. I knew of several Hocus Pocus 2 streaming parties happening. And no, I wasn’t invited to any. Which was hurtful.
Halloween Ends, the final showdown between Laurie Strode and Michael Myers, earned $41.2 million at the box office on opening weekend. Despite being available on a streaming platform the same day of its release, the film made a killing. While the split screening could’ve been considered a threat to the film’s overall success, it’s very likely the movie’s availability on Peacock only generated more buzz. But I do wonder if such a positive partnership between a streaming platform and the theaters could be limited to the horror genre.
“Horror is a collective activity. You want to see horror with a bunch of people. You get much more frightened in a movie theater when there are a bunch of people around… you want to hear people screaming.”
Take nostalgia, combined with the popularity of streaming TV, plus the fact that scary movies are just better in the movie theater- and you’ve got a hit remake.
Amazon enters the insurance game.
Amazon is launching a home insurance portal in Britain, with three big-name insurers already committed to the platform. Agues UK, Co-op, and LV General Insurance will provide third-party services initially. The move will further expand the e-commerce titan’s push into financial services. Its new service will be called Amazon Insurance Store. Catchy, right?
Quick rundown. Customers who want to apply for home insurance on Amazon can do so by filling out a questionnaire, then reviewing quotes from the platform’s insurance providers. Once they decide on a policy, users can pay for it using Amazon’s own online checkout. Pretty nifty.
Insurers seemed to have followed the old adage, if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. With fears that tech firms will steal their business, insurers are keen to partner with them, offering them commissions for selling their products.
Amazon hopes to find success where rival Google failed in online comparison sites. Google Compare, a tool for comparing car insurance and credit cards, was shut down in 2016 after operating for only a year in the US. Talk about embarrassing.
TikTok exposed for plans to track US citizens.
Not the most comforting headline out there. TikTok’s parent company, Byte Dance, planned to use the app to monitor the personal location of some specific American citizens.
According to Forbes, the team behind the monitoring project was led by a Beijing-based executive. The team primarily conducts investigations into the potential misconduct by current and former ByteDance employees. But upon review, the team’s plans included intentions to collect data about the whereabouts of a US citizen who never had an employment relationship with the company. Busted.
A TikTok spokesperson back pedaled a bit, claiming that TikTok collects approximate locations for the purposes of target ads and to help detect and prevent fraud. After the Forbes article came out last week, TikTok quickly responded that Forbes’ claims lacked “both rigor and journalistic integrity.”
It’s interesting to note, they never said the claims weren’t true.
Best of The Week
A roundup of simple, effective AI tools guaranteed to lighten your workload. OneNote’s handwriting into text generator is a personal favorite. It can even read my chicken scratch. Which is saying something.
Stats To See
A couple of graphs detailing what workers have done with their newly found free time without a work commute. I’d also like to see a graph of how much more Netflix we’ve logged in. Or maybe I don’t.
What To Watch
Based on a true story, Netflix’s latest thriller series The Watcher is one that will keep you up at night. Fun and terrible fact, the real Watcher has never been caught. Chills.
Whether you’re trick-or-treating, passing out candy, or closing the blinds and hiding in your room, we’ve got just the right tunes for the spooky holiday. Happy Halloween, friends!
More News From This Week
- Elon takes over Twitter, and calls himself the Chief Twit. Brilliant.
- A bunch of Pine-Sol was recalled because it might contain deadly bacteria. Which seems really backwards.
- Mom might’ve been wrong. Gamers score higher on brain function tests than non gamers.
- Kraft Heinz is coming out with a vegan cheese. They’re calling it Not Cheese. Gosh. Sounds delicious.
- More food graffiti in the name of climate change. This time, cake was smeared on a waxwork of King Charles III. I can understand throwing soup, but cake? Why are we wasting perfectly good cake?